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2.k2                                              FLORA  IND1CA.
number of species capable of being impregnated even by skil-
ful management, is very few; aud in nature the stigma exerts
a specific action, which not o{ily favour and quickens the
operation of the pollen of its own species, but -which resists and
retards the action of that of another; so that the artist luis
not only to forestall the natural operation, but to experience
opposition to his conducting the artificial one.
2.  Even when the impregnation is oueo cfloetcd, vury few
seeds are produced, still fewer of these ripen, and fewest of all
become healthy plaiits, capable of maintaining an independent
existence; this is a very important point, for under the most
favourable infkieiiccs the average number of seeds that are
shed by a.hcalthy plant in a state of nature come to nothing,
chiefly owing to the pre-octmpation of the soil and the wants
of the animal creation.
3.  The offspring of a hybrid lias never yet been known to
possess a 'Character foreign to those of its parents; but it
blends those of each, whence hybridization must be regarded
as the means of obliterating, not creating, species.
4.  The offspring of hybrids arc almost imuriuhly Absolutely
barren, nor do we know an authenticated case of the second
generation maturing its seeds.
5.  In the animal kingdom hybrids are still rarer in an ar-
tificial state, are all but unknown in a natural one, mid are
almost, invariably baiTcn.
On the other hand, it is often argued that hybrids arc com-
mon in gardens, and tKat their occurrence in a state of nature
cannot be domed; and that if the permanence of one xturh
hybrid be admitted; the whole fabric of s^etes is sshakeu to it*
foundation. Such summary conclusions are however opjKwd
to philosophical cantiou; the whole subject is one that eawwt
be cleared tip by a consideration of exceptional cases; it muat
be argued -upon broad nriuciple*, and tinfortunately w> atgu*
incut Ikaa eve* \bcen adduced tliut has not been taken iu cvi-
deuce on both rides of the question. This iť especially the
case with hybridization which, iu ťo fai; a* it can produce a